A Gift From Our New Friend, Hytbi Tarelli

Today, Toronto based artist Hytbi Tarelli stopped by the Shakespeare in Action office to share one of his pieces of art. He shared a great Shakespeare sculpture with us, and we got to keep it! Now we are going to find somewhere special in the office to display it!


Shakespeare sculpture by Hytbi Tarelli


Michael Kelly poses with our new Shakespeare sculpture!

We want to offer a huge thanks to Hytbi for the lovely piece, and welcome him to the Shakespeare in Action family!

If you are interested in checking out Hytbi’s other works, you can visit his website here.


Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids- A Family Tradition

Shakespeare in Action’s Sonnets by Kids program has been bringing the bard to poetry-lovers everywhere for three years’ worth of Valentine’s Days now. As the big day draws closer once again, and our Sonnet Kids make their final preparations to spout sonnets to your sweeties, we wanted to take some time to reflect on how this program has touched the lives of everyone who participates in it: from the kids who read the sonnets, to the patrons who give the gift of poetry to their loved ones, to the volunteers and staff here at Shakespeare in Action who make the program a reality.

Alania Weisdorf has purchased Sonnets by Kids for her loved ones every year since the program’s inception. We asked Alania what the program means to her:

“With regards to my story, we got married at Toronto City Hall and Sonnet 116 was read at the end of the ceremony. Then a few years back, sometime in February, the National Post featured an article on gift ideas for Valentine’s and that’s how I found out about Sonnets by Kids. Since then, it has become a tradition in our family. To me, the message in the sonnet is a meaningful and lasting gift that I want to share with my family and friends.”

Sonnets by Kids has also had important impact on our Sonnet Kids. Every year in 30 different library branches across the GTA, SIA runs TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club, a free readers’ theatre program for young people. And every year we invite the most enthusiastic, the most excited, the most dedicated Library Club students to become Sonnet Kids. SIA’s education team works closely with the Sonnet Kids to teach them about Shakespeare’s sonnets: what the words mean, how the rhythm of the poetry flows, how best to deliver a line, etc.

We asked some of our Sonnet Kids what they liked about Library Club and Sonnet by Kids. Sonnet Kid Temina Tova (age 12) liked the programs because she was able to develop her acting skills, and learning Shakespeare’s plays and poetry gave her confidence at school.

The best part for Sonnet Kid Spencer (age 8) was being able to share the poems he had learned with his friends and family.

For Sonnet Kid Audrey (age 9), it was the fact that these programs united all of her passions:

“I love Library Club because I love acting, and I love reading, and I love libraries, and I love books, and I love Shakespeare, and other people.”

And in all this reflection, how could we not hear from the brains of the operation, our wonderful and dedicated Education Coordinator, Laboni?

“For me, the program celebrates poetry and kids!  I love meeting them, helping them learn, learning from them, and seeing their confidence build and build.  In the bigger picture, I enjoy linking all of our kids’ programming – TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club, Sonnets by Kids, and Summer Camp – to create a Shakespeare Family.  It’s special having these kids grow up with us and hearing their younger siblings say: ‘I want to learn Shakespeare too!’”

So, from our Shakespeare family to yours, happy Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets will be available for purchase until 5PM on February 13, so be sure to order yours now!

Sonnets by Kids- A 7 year-olds translation of Sonnet #18


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often in his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


You’re a wonderful person…
When the seasons pass[,] you change.
Your heart will not fade because I write…
Your heart won’t die because you’ll live in the poem.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!
For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here.

Sonnets by Kids- An 8 year-olds translation of Sonnet #116


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.  Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no!  It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Love always stays.
Love is a guide.
Love lasts forever.
Every word I have written is true.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!
For more information, or to purchase a sonnet, click here.

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day- Behind the Scenes!

Here’s a behind the scenes look at how our Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids fundraiser works!

For more information, or to purchase a sonnet for your loved one, click here!

Sonnets by Kids- A Unique Gift for Valentine’s Day!

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” What better cure for the “winter of our discontent”?

This Valentine’s Day, why not give the gift of poetry and let the Bard do the talking!

    • Visit
    • Select and purchase your favourite Shakespeare Sonnet – 18, 24, 29, or 116. (Only $25 CDN)
    • On Valentine’s Day, between 4:30pm and 6:30pm EST, a talented and charming Shakespeare Kid will call your lucky Valentine and recite the sonnet with a heart full of love!
    • A Shakespeare Kid will also sign and mail a personalized copy of the sonnet for your Valentine!

SONNETS BY KIDS are available in Canada, the US, and the UK until Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 5pm EST, while quantities last.
Shakespeare in Action is a charitable not-for-profit organization, dedicated to introducing young people to the magic of Shakespeare, language and live theatre.  All proceeds support our educational programs throughout the GTA!

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2011 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2011 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2012 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2012 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2013 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2013 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action

For more information, or to purchase a sonnet for your loved one, click here!

Fascinating Usage of Shakespeare: Shakespeare Insult Chewing Gum

People are always looking for interesting ways to introduce Shakespeare into everyday life. I was looking on the Book Hunter’s Holiday blog, and the blogger covered a creative candy maker’s means of bringing Shakespeare into everyday life in a way that’s a whole lot of fun: Shakespeare insult chewing gum. Until now, I never thought it was possible to find something that’s both edible, chewable, and contains insults, but there’s a first for everything.

Each gumball insult set is a mini bookshelf containing “books” of insults (gumball packages) from Henry V, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, or Richard III. The gumball sets are packaged like books with a picture of Mr. Shakespeare, and each mini bookshelf has the words: “Thy breath stinks with eating toasted cheese” in yellow letters.

Each package contains two gumballs and a Shakespearean insult printed inside. The best part: you can both chew gum and practice Shakespearean insults on friends (best online fun fact discovery ever!!). A picture of the Shakespearean insults gum is posted below:


Photo source: Chapter 307: Shakespeare in miniature-it’s edible and disgusting “The Book Hunter’s holiday”(